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date: 23 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Many of society's problems have historically been blamed on immigrants. Immigrants, for example, have been accused of stealing jobs from hard working native-born Americans or draining America's health care and educational resources. Perhaps most problematically, they have also been accused of being responsible for the increase in crime rates. These accusations are often based on false assumptions and stereotypes and have been challenged by a substantial body of evidence which consistently suggests that immigrants are less likely to engage in criminality compared with the native-born. This article examines some questions and unresolved issues in existing macro-level research on the link between immigration and crime. It considers the importance of testing theories on the immigration-crime nexus, emphasizes the need for more longitudinal research, and highlights data impediments that must be overcome before immigration and crime can be understood more fully.

Keywords: crime, immigration, immigrants, criminality, theories, longitudinal research, America

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